'Respect' for Zoe Ball on her first day on Radio 2's breakfast show

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
Zoe Ball (Credit: PA)
Zoe Ball (Credit: PA)

Zoe Ball began her tenure as the breakfast show host on Radio 2 in legendary fashion this morning.

The Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two host switched on the microphone for the first time at 6.30am this morning to the sounds of Aretha Franklin’s anthem Respect.

“Relax after the build up…the big day is finally here,” she said in her intro.

“I’m ready. First record? What’s it gonna be?”

After the track wound up, she added: “First record, I hope you approve. Had to be a dame on this occasion.

“Good morning super heroes. I’ve been so excited about saying that.”

Listeners seemed largely impressed…

Some less so…

Others appealed to give her a chance:

Zoe Ball has taken over from Chris Evans on the show, who departed has departed for Virgin Radio after an eight-year stint.

Yesterday, she revealed she’d been having ‘anxiety dreams’ about her first show.

“I absolutely didn’t worry at all about work as I am so excited but that hasn’t stopped the anxiety dreams,” she said.

Zoe Ball arrives at Wogan House in London for her first morning hosting the BBC 2 Breakfast Show. (Credit: Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Zoe Ball arrives at Wogan House in London for her first morning hosting the BBC 2 Breakfast Show. (Credit: Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)

“I saw Lauren Laverne in Wogan House last week, and we compared [dreams], so it makes me feel that I’m not on my own/

“We are piloting the show, it’s always good to practise, and it’s going really well. I love the team, but on Monday morning my hands are going to be shaking a lot so I’m worried about working the faders.

“It makes my tummy go giddy when I think about the first show – I just want to get on with it right now. I can’t quite believe it’s happening. I just hope that I can do a show that Britain wants to wake up to.”

Evans was said to be earning £1.6 million for presenting the UK’s most-listened to radio show, but Ball has said that she’s not expecting such a salary to start with.

“I’m definitely not expecting the same. But I have to say we’ve discussed fees and I’m very, very happy with what the BBC are paying,” she told Lizo Mzimbo on BBC News.

“If it’ll all come out one day as these things tend to, I hope people say, that’s fair.”

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